First photo Thank you all for joining us in another instalment of Love, Life, and Science. I’m your host Bree Wright. So, recently, there has been an article picking up a lot of momentum, Unnatural Life by Sam Costa. He claims “Science is an invasive species. We didn’t stop it before it came in and now we can’t live without it.” which is basically denouncing science. The article argues that if we didn’t initially start inventing then we wouldn’t have need for it now, but since we are involved in science, we are engulfed by it. We are turning the natural unnatural and raising more cause for war. He claims that science isn’t natural and it has only brought darkness to this world. And, people are actually getting behind this.
We invited a few guests: Madison Crymes, the creator of Kick It to Cancer based in Cincinnati, Ohio, which is a charity work that funds a large part of the research that goes on in the Cincinnati area for childhood cancer. Dr. Jordan Sanders who is the scientific developer of CleanLight a large scale project pushing eco friendly energy sources. Finally, we have Sam Costa, author the article. Crymes and Sanders both see the value of science while Costa does not. So, we have all sides of this argument here today, and we’re going to try to come to a consensus.
Why don’t we hear what Dr. Sanders has to say first.
Second Photo In my field, I’ve worked very closely with Jake Abrahamson when he was developing an article, “Waiting for Light,” which was about electricity being introduced in a rural village in India. Here in the United States, we take for granted how simple it is to turn on the lights as we walk in the room. In some parts of the world, all productivity ends as soon as the sun sets. This places major inhibitions on quality of life for all involved. Just by giving these people a few extra hours in their day, incredible things can happen; untapped potential is released. The next Einstein could be from one of places, but without the resources to be able to research and communicate properly, some incredible genius would be taken away from the world. The people, in the village of Jangaon from the “Waiting for Light” article, have never been exposed to the most basic forms electricity. Now with the introduction of Abrahamson’s project the future is within their sight. The dreams of having computers and more advanced technology have come alive. People ranging from old men to young women are quoted in this article with their wishes and hopes of a brighter tomorrow.
(show picture of the article and have a few short quotes up)
Thank you for the insight, Dr. Sanders. I’m sure Mr. Abrahamson would be dumbfounded by claims that science, his own life’s effort, doesn’t do good for others. But, this is just the innovation and technological advancement aspects of science. Madison, could you give us some insight on the research side of science, what is it typically seen as boring, and how it could do something positive for the world?
– Leukemia Photo My project and the Cincinnati research department work day in and day out to make the lives of children with cancer and their families lives easier. I have a personal connection to this because, three years ago, my son, Dwight, passed away from leukemia at just 8 years old. Thanks to the efforts of the staff and the many people we worked with, I think Dwight’s final days were as good as they could’ve been. I personally know how it feels to lose your child. It hurts enough to watch them die; the least we can do is not have our children hurt. The researchers helped to ease his physical pain as well as the emotional pain of our family through their kindness and tireless efforts. Their research has made incredible advancements that save many lives daily. If it weren’t for these institutions, many children and their families would be without hope. This Research Center gives kids a fighting chance against cancer.
And you’ve brought a commercial of their work that we are going to show now.
I’m sure you’d like to defend your stance Sam, so take the field.
Photo Based off what Mrs. Crymes and Dr. Sanders are saying, it is best to research in the realm of science to improve our lives and the lives around us. Granted, it does provide for better medicine and technologies, I believe we do not need these things for survival. Like I stated in my article, I believe we should go back to living off the earth and living naturally. People existed like this for thousands of years, and even today, there are people who do not rely on scientific innovation. I base most of my articles and works off of Henry David Thoreau’s naturalistic ideas. He says that “Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify,” and the best way to do that is to avoid science. Now I have some questions for you. Is science really that necessary? What even is the value of science if we used to survive without it?
– Yes, people used to survive without technology. But now people can thrive! Life isn’t about simply making it through day by day. The potential that humans have is fully reached only with the help of the same technological advancements that Mr. Costa is deeming unnecessary.
Abrahamson tries to convince all of his readers that his project is valuable, and he does it well. He puts emphasis on his work (on screen “promising avenue[s] for powering up india’s rural poor” sometimes via “a single rooftop” ). He shows even though it’s not much, it’s something. Even these small things can be exciting. He juxtaposes this exciting topic with sadder thoughts, such as investors being “hesitant to fund companies whose customers include the poorest people on earth.” The work that he’s doing is so beneficial, but he doesn’t have the support that he needs to continue this work. Abrahamson emphasizes the possibility of what this can do so the readers of his article feel uneasy that the full potential isn’t being reached. The conversational parts of his article as you see ( on screen:“It looks like the sun rises there. Slowly, slowly, the villagers are attracted toward the light. We give them our lantern in their hand so they can enjoy this light.” ) also shows you the greatness this project has. Electricity opens new doors in these people’s lives. Even though all they have now is laterns, they now are pushing newer technology, like computers and different machines, to come to their villages. Just imagine how these people must feel as they see their lives and their loved one’s lives improve day by day.
He really articulates what good science does in terms of advancement (on screen “We love to study. We love to do embroidery.”) The young girls in these places want to learn; they want to be able to do something more with their life. Science gives them that chance. It’s helping educate ,and it’s improving waste pollution in the environment. (on screen“Bhawana was using Verma’s computer to look up market prices . . .so her father, a farmer could use these as negotiation points,” )His project is giving the lower class a means of moving up. It gives every member of their society a chance at advancement.
You can see by this quote, (on screen “It is the hope of a human being . . . Something new is there, and sometime, someday, it will work.”) These people want it. Even if we only need technology because of the rise of technology in the first place, it’s still here, it’s already invaded almost every aspect of this world, and others need it to have any chance at a good life.
You do not need to have a formal scientific education. All you need to know are the basic survival skills: find food, water, and shelter. Who’s to say their life isn’t good without it already?
Welcome back! So, Dr. Sanders is claiming that scientific advancement is necessary across the board because if everyone else is moving forward there’s no chance to survive unless you as well advance. Bringing science to the rural areas gives them a leg up in the game. Mr. Costa is, however, saying the best solution to this is for everyone to stop advancing because we are just leading humanity to it’s demise. It appears, Sam, you still don’t see the value of science improving lives if we could just keep it simple and live just as well.
Mr. Costa, yes you may be living simply and you are surviving but what is your quality of life? And what if you aren’t surviving? If you find out you have cancer, what is your next move? Without access to any advanced medical facilities or procedures, your odds of surviving are not good. One could say that you would have no hope of surviving.
In this video there is a contrast of research and excitement ( on screen 00:42) where, even though it’s seen as boring, it is ultimately shown as very rewarding.
Oh yeah look at all the sweet colorful thank you letters in the back.
The value is shown by all of those grateful children that don’t even understand the concept of scientific research but feel the positive effects of the work.
(BACK TO MADI) Research gives anyone with a poor medical prognosis a chance that they would not have if medical institutes were not always striving for advances. In the past, if you were sick with any disease, your outlook and chances of survival were bleak. Now with technology and science advancing exponentially, prognoses are improving which gives patients and doctors alike that much more hope.
You don’t know if these cute kids are going to make it (on screen 00:36) but thanks to these research efforts you can be reassured that at least some of them (on screen 00:52) will and that all of them will be helped in some way by this research. Of course not everyone is going to be able to be saved, death is natural yet everyone wants their children to survive. And outside of the scientific outlook, every parent would give anything to save their kid. This is what it all comes down to, giving families hope that their children will survive and with this research and these advancements, there is a possibility of survival.
So what are you guys saying the value of science is?
-It seems that both of them, in their own fields, are saying this research is bringing people hope. Science gives people new light (looks at sanders and smile) so to speak in a bleak monotonous world. Or it can give you a chance in this world and at life. Would you ladies agree?
Crymes and Sanders:
– (adlib yeah I definitely agree etc.) You go Glen Coco
I can see that and honestly I can’t refute it
– Well, there you have it everyone! Everything has its cons, but everything also has its pros. Science has caused a bit of trouble, yet it always seems to ultimately bring good. Next up on the show, brain bursting and what that means for you.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, prod. Ask Me Why. 21 Nov. 2014. Youtube. Web. 11 Nov. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjDouQn9SQ0>.
Abrahamson, Jake. “Waiting for Light.” The Best American Science and Nature Writing (2015): 1-8. Print.
Through this project, I learned many things. First of all, I learned that though science writing is typically very reliant on ethos and logos, pathos is a large part of the piece’s rhetorical argument. By picking a value like hope that is not usually associated with science, I was able to see the softer, more emotional side of science and science writing. Secondly, I learned that science writing can take on many forms. Before this project, I typically thought of the medium of this type of writing to be almost strictly essay. Now, I have discovered that science writing is very prominent throughout the world of rhetoric. Anything from youtube videos, podcasts, commercials, or posters can be in the genre of science writing. For this project specifically, I feel that we were very successful in creating something with multimodality. Our evidence (which included an article and a commercial) and our supported argument (a podcast with pictures included) both used more than one mode. I also feel like our group was successful in presenting the argument that we chose. By including a counterargument along side our argument that was specifically stated, our audience was easily able to see what our project argued. If I was able to re-do this project, I would change the medium of our supported argument. Instead of a podcast, I would make an actual video staged as a talk show (this is what was originally intended). I would work on better placing the quotes throughout the “show,” and I would make sure that all speaking parts were better enunciated and slower, so that it could be better understood what is being said.